Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mocha Crinkle Cookies

Prepare yourself for the most chocolaty, rich, espresso-licious cookie out there. We all need a pick-me-up now an then and this cookie is just the trick. Grab one of these cookies and swap your mid-day espresso shot for a chilly glass of milk. Trust me, you'll thank me later. I've been making these cookies for a while now, but the recent addition of cacao nibs adds an unexpected nutty crunch to the cookie. (Nibs are roasted, de-shelled and crumbled cocoa beans.) Try using nibs instead of sprinkles, nuts or chocolate chips in your next recipe. They're barely processed, giving them loads of antioxidants (which practically means they are health food!) The pièce de résistance of these cookies is the sea salt flakes (I prefer Maldon), so don't skip it.

Mocha Crinkle Cookies
makes 36 cookies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
3 tablespoons instant espresso, dissolved in 2 tablespoons milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
3 tablespoons cacao nibs
2 large eggs
8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup superfine sugar
sea salt flakes

1. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate in 30 second increments, stirring each time. Set aside and let cool. 

2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and beat until well combined. Mix in cooled chocolate and turn the mixer on low. Gradually add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Add the espresso milk and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds. Stir in the cacao nibs. Transfer dough to plastic wrap and flatten into a rectangle. Freeze until firm, at least 45 minutes or overnight.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking liners. Place superfine sugar in a shallow dish and set aside. Unwrap chilled dough and cut into 36 small 1" squares. Working in small batches, roll dough into balls and place in sugar dish. Roll the dough balls in the sugar making sure each ball is thoroughly coated. Place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies have cracked. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt flakes while the cookies are still hot, then cool cookies on a wire rack.


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